I Think Lawrence Has This One Totally Wrong

I like Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC. He has a savvy understanding of politics and the political process on the Hill, and I find most of what he sees as insightful, but on this one, I think he got it totally wrong. He was talking about the “bipartisan” meeting with Trump today on guns. He congratulated the Democrats (Chris Murphy, Dianne Feinstein, and others) for holding their fire when President DFF said remarkably stupid things like why don’t the police just take the weapons away from anyone they judge crazy, forgetting the due process clause in the Constitution (if he ever knew it was there). Think about that one. His own supporters would be up in arms if you gave “the gov’ment” the right to just take your weapons when they felt like it because you looked crazy.  Three quarters of the people who live around me would have their weapons confiscated on the look crazy test.

Lawrence thought they were smart because they might actually get something done. Trump seemed to promise all kinds of things.  Where have we seen this before?  Oh wait, was that for the Dreamers? Then Lawrence admitted that that something would probably just be some minor improvements in background checks considering the reality of the Republican Congress and the hold the NRA has on President DFF’s supporters, but it would move the ball forward. They were being smart legislatively. And yes they were. But here is where Lawrence and I part ways. They were being tactically smart and might win a small battle here, and strategically stupid because that win could cost them the war. Let me explain.

I don’t mind that Demos want to test the waters to see what they can get done, but unless they are part of something that actually makes a difference, they have lost the war. If they are associated with another whiff by Congress on guns, they have doomed themselves. I guess Lawrence thinks that if we can move the ball a little bit, then later we can move it a bit more. See Obama on that one. What he and apparently the Democratic Party are missing is that real change is in the air. There is a whole generation of new voters about to become of age watching paint dry in Congress and they are frustrated with politics in general. By paint dry I am talking about real problems and Congress does nothing, mostly stymied by the Status Quo Party (Republicans), but tainting both parties for the inaction.

The Party that stands up for effective gun control laws, whether they get them enacted or not, is the one that says to younger people, okay, we will fight the fight, please throw out the slackers. It is an attempt to stand for something and show there is a difference. If the #MeToo movement and the spreading activism of the Parkland kids has not woken you up, nothing will. To be seen as part of the group that waters down effective ideas just to get a deal is to lose the war for the future. So sorry Lawrence, but I think you got this one wrong. There is a hunger for change and action out there. Foolishly some thought electing a blowhard looked like change. Now we have a chance to show the real difference between Democrats and Republicans. Don’t blow it.

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